M A I N   N E W S

FDI paralyses Parliament on Day 2
SP, BSP maintain ambivalent position on FDI debate
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 23
Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned without transacting any business for the second day on Friday following continuous Opposition tirade against foreign direct investment in multi- brand retail.

As Lok Sabha met on Friday, peace prevailed for a few minutes when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh introduced his new Cabinet colleagues. As soon as he finished, Trinamool Congress members stormed the well of the House seeking a rollback of UPA's decision allowing 51% retail FDI.

Both the BSP and SP members joined in, but for their own causes: the SP to seek recall of LPG subsidy cap and BSP to seek dismissal of the Akhilesh Yadav Government in UP. They remained non-committal on the matter of rules under which to debate the FDI issue, exposing a division on the issue in Opposition ranks.

BJP and Left members, however, continued to insist on a discussion under Rule 184, which entails voting. Left MPs waived pamphlets on the repercussions of retail FDI. The party has been saying that the move would adversely affect 20 crore small farmers and businessmen. The House was adjourned for the day five minutes past noon after the laying of papers.

In the Rajya Sabha, the BSP created ruckus demanding the Bill for allowing quotas in government job promotions for SCs and STs. The House witnessed two adjournments with the SP and BSP members continuing to create the uproar. BJP and Left MPs were seen protesting on the FDI issue and some, in blatant violation of rules, displayed newspaper copies of a report on Bharti Wal-Mart suspending its Chief Financial Officer.

The CPM has been demanding an official probe by India into the country-specific bribery charges against Wal-Mart, which has admitted to bribery in its ranks. In the RS, meanwhile, BSP president Mayawati reiterated her demand for quota for SCs and STs in job promotions.

Brajesh Pathak led the charge for her and shouted in the well: “Aarakshan vidhyak pehle lao, pehle lao (bring in the reservation Bill first).” SP members were also seen protesting alongside, forcing Chairman Hamid Ansari to adjourn the House first till noon. When the House resumed at noon, the chair ordered laying of the RS Select Committee report on the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill 2011. The House was adjourned shortly afterwards and for the day.





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